The Films (3/5, 3.5/5)
Vinegar Syndrome welcomes another double dose of passion and perversion in their popular Drive-In Collection! The indie label continues to preserve and release some of the most obscure and erotic films in recent history with this latest release being no exception. Two bonafide skin flicks from Director Kemal Horulu (“The Sexualist”) are paired up that’s sure to send your senses for a loop with featured talent from Jennifer Welles, Leslie Bovee and Jamie Gillis. Let’s take a look at these erupting features…
“Virgin and the Lover” centers on a filmmaker (Eric Edwards) who lives in a sensual dream world where he is torn between his love for a beautiful woman and his odd desires for a female mannequin. In “Lustful Feelings”, a young woman (Leslie Bovee) is forced to earn an income in order to pay off the drug debt her lover (Jamie Gillis) owes. Unknowingly to her significant other, she takes up prostitution and develops a knack for it.
It’s no secret that the plot or narrative that guides films of this kind are paper-thin. That said, both of the films in this Drive-In Collection managed to weave are decent and at times dramatic and humorous stories. “Virgin and the Lover” casts shades of 2007’s “Lars and the Real Girl” with the inclusion of hardcore sex scenes. The protagonist, played by Eric Edwards, visits a therapist to help cope with his desires for a female mannequin. Edwards has been unable to get over the death of a woman he met at a party years prior and envisions her as this mannequin. Finally, when a woman comes into his life that he genuinely cares for, his mind is muddled between his true feelings for her and his attachment for the mannequin. Sex scenes run rampant for the majority of the 91-minute runtime with plenty of oral sequences, threesomes and a variety of sexual positions tried in each encounter. As a filmmaker, there are scenes of Edwards reviewing his latest film, “Two Women Part 1” and “2”, that involve two lesbians experimenting and going as far as inviting a strap-on to the party. The film ends as predictable from a narrative point of view but also manages to inject a humorous moment about what Edwards’ therapist learned from him. A competent adult flick that will certainly be praised more for its sexual scenes than anything its plot has to offer.
“Lustful Feelings” takes a slightly more dramatic and real world approach in its story that involves a woman (Leslie Bovee) taking up prostitution to help pay her lovers’ (Jamie Gillis) drug debt. Prostitution in any exploitation film is a welcome addition because it injects an added dose of sleaziness that we genre fans come to love. The beautiful Leslie Bovee delivers a nice performance and certainly struts her “acting” chops in her many sex scenes. Bovee’s character secretly takes up prostitution and quickly develops a love for the work, which makes way for plenty of erotic encounters. A lesbian sex scene while a voyeur watches on before joining in, an S&M scene with a leather masked client dominating Bovee and a trio of out of towners running quite a marathon on Bovee. Jamie Gillis packs a scummy performance as a drug dealer who cheats on his old lady and ultimately pays the price for his debts in the finale. For an adult film, it certainly ends on a darker note with Gillis’ character being shot for his failure to pay up and Bovee meeting the same fate after a client punches her to death. The price we pay for living life in the fast lane I suppose. “Lustful Feelings” packed more of a sexual punch than “Virgin and the Lover” but also managed to weave a darker, dramatic tale that I love to find in flicks from the 1970s.
Audio/Video (3.5/5, 3.5/5)
“Virgin and the Lover” has been scanned in 2K from original 35mm camera negatives. The film is presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio and looks remarkably nice. It’s always a pleasant surprise to see just how well adult films from the 70s can look when handled with care. Colors pop nicely with skin tones appearing natural. Detail looks wonderful especially in close-up shots where facial imperfections and sweat are seen clearly. Minor moments of dirt and debris are noticed but never intrude on the viewing experience. Another slam-dunk for Vinegar Syndrome!
“Lustful Feelings” has also been scanned in 2K from original 35mm camera negatives and presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The film is slightly more problematic than its co-feature but nothing horrendous. There is an overall softer appearance to the film, which may have been intended but nonetheless is apparent. Moments of scratches and dirt are slightly more common but luckily they don’t interfere in the viewing either. Skin tones are natural with a healthy dose of grain firmly intact the whole time. “Lustful Feelings” looks nice but falls a pinch behind.
“Virgin and the Lover” had its fair share of hisses and pops mostly during reel changes which thankfully doesn’t intrude in any moments of dialogue. Dialogue and scenes of a sexual nature all sound clear as can be.
“Lustful Feelings” walks away the superior sounding flick of this collection without a single hiss or pop heard. Dialogue and of course, erotic scenes sound loud and clear. What more is needed?
- - “Virgin and the Lover” Theatrical Trailer
- - “Lustful Feelings” Theatrical Trailer
Vinegar Syndrome’s Drive-In Collection releases are always a treat to see. You never quite know what you’re going to get but it’s bound to be something you more than likely won’t forget. “Virgin and the Lover” and “Lustful Feelings” made for an appropriate pairing of two Kemal Horulu films, which packed all the sexual fun you can imagine. While “Virgin and the Lover” is a tad hokier, “Lustful Feelings” managed to hit all the erotic notes and tell a darker tale that felt like an everyday occurrence in New York City circa 1978. If you’re looking for some adult fun presented in a truly remarkable fashion with adequate audio and nostalgic trailers than Vinegar Syndrome’s latest Drive-In Collection may be for you.